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“CAA should not shut doors on free-thinker Muslims”, says Taslima Nasreen

Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is “very good” and “generous”, while opining that the amended law should also include “free-thinkers, feminists, and secularists” from the Muslim community who are persecuted in the neighbouring countries.

Speaking at the ongoing Kerala Literature Festival on Friday, the author, who left Bangladesh in 1994 after facing death threat by fundamentalist outfits for her alleged anti-Islamic views, said that people like her should be given Indian citizenship under CAA.

“It is nice to hear the religious persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan will get citizenship (of India). It is a very good idea and very generous one. But I think that there are people like me from the Muslim community, free thinkers and atheists, who too are persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and they too should have the right to live in India,” said the author-in-exile while speaking on the second day of the four-day festival during a session titled “In Exile: A writer’s Journey”.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which was passed in the Parliament on December 11 last year, grants citizenship to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan who came to India till December 31, 2014 to escape religious persecution.

Asserting that Muslim “atheists bloggers” were killed by suspected Islamist militants in Bangladesh a few years ago, she said that India today needs more free “thinker, secularist, feminist from the Muslim community”.

“Many of these bloggers, in a bid to save their lives, left for Europe or America, why cannot they come to India? India today needs more free thinker, secularist, feminist from the Muslim community,” said Nasreen.

 

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